The Mental Load of Meal Prep: The Broadsheet

October 7, 2019, 10:51 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rowena Chiu tells her Weinstein story, the all-female spacewalk is back on, and cooking is so much more than just cooking. Have a mindful Monday. 


- Meal prep. It's so much more than cooking. 

That's the headline on a viral essay by Zoe Fenson in The Week. Fenson writes about taking on all meal-related responsibilities in her home—and breaking down when her husband offered to cook dinner for an event, only to come home the evening of and ask, "What do we have in the fridge?" 

"What I'd wanted him to do was much more complex, so ingrained in my experience of cooking that I didn't even think to articulate it," Fenson writes. "To check what ingredients we already had, and what might need using up. To plan out a meal that would meet everyone's dietary needs and preferences (including a balanced amount of protein and starch, and at least one vegetable). I wanted him to look up recipes, and make a grocery list if needed, and stop by the store on the way home." 

I highly recommend reading Fenson's essay in full for more on the mental load that accompanies household tasks and the division of labor at home. It's part of the "second shift" conversation, the one we're too busy trying to get everything done to actually engage in. 

In addition to Fenson's piece, I recommend another insightful essay about food preparation. Emma Laperruque writes for Food52 about learning the many forms of workplace harassment she's encountered working at restaurants. There's the usual male-dominated energy of the kitchen, but also the fear she felt working alone as a baker in the early hours of the morning. It's worth your time. 

In other news, we here at Fortune are getting ready for our Most Powerful Women Summit this month—but also looking ahead to the Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, California in December. Watch this video to see Kristen, Claire, and more members of our MPW team explain what exactly Next Gen is and why you should attend. Convinced? Register to request an invite here.

Emma Hinchliffe


- In her own words. Rowena Chiu was an assistant to Harvey Weinstein. He attempted to rape her, she says, but she didn't come forward until the publication of the book She Said last month. Chiu writes about why she waited and the four power dynamics she faced: gender, race, seniority, and wealth. New York Times

- Spacewalk, take 2. The all-female spacewalk is back on. After NASA canceled the milestone because it didn't have enough spacesuits in sizes that would fit the women, astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will conduct a mission outside the International Space Station on Oct. 21. CNN

- Amazon to Glossier. Melissa Eamer gives an interview about her decision to leave her 19-year post at Amazon to become COO of Glossier. She hadn't heard of the brand until her daughter "freaked out" after seeing an ad for its Seattle pop-up. There are no plans to sell Glossier on Amazon, Eamer says, but "never say never." Vogue Business

- Two mayors. Paris's record-setting 107-degree temperatures this summer encouraged Mayor Anne Hidalgo to double down on her mission to make the city green. Hidalgo has placed limits on cars, upsetting some (mostly men, she notes; "two-thirds of public transport users are women"). In Afghanistan, another mayor confronts her enemies in a more dangerous scenario. Zarifa Ghafari is one of the first female mayors in the country, overseeing the town of Maidan Shar, and she says she "fully expects to be assassinated." 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Google Cloud hired Brigette McInnis-Day of SAP Successfactors as VP of HR. DriveWealth Holdings named Julie Coin president. Indonesia’s Parliament elected Puan Maharani the country’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives; she is the daughter of a former president and granddaughter of Indonesia's founding president. 


- Unequal consequences. The Florida spa raids that ensnared billionaire New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft were targeted at men, but the women caught up in the sting have paid far steeper prices. Kraft was charged with two misdemeanors and never set foot in jail. Masseuse Lei Chen was charged with a felony and eight misdemeanors, had her savings seized, and spent 14 weeks in jail; now she's in ICE custody. Boston Globe

- Sustainable fashion. Zilingo CEO Ankiti Bose writes for Fortune about the critical task facing the fashion industry in the war for millennial customers: becoming sustainable. Fortune

- Mask ban. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam ordered a ban on face coverings or masks, which have been worn by protesters over the past several months; Lam made the decision after an 18-year-old protester was shot by a police officer last week. The emergency measure spurred a new round of protests. Fortune

- Before equal pay. Any Before trilogy fans here? Julie Delpy said in an interview that she "got paid maybe a tenth of what Ethan Hawke was paid on Before Sunrise." Pay went up, but not to equal, for the second film. She didn't agree to the third movie until she got equal pay. Variety 

Share today's Broadsheet with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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20 years later, and the women of Angel still deserve more TV Guide


"There was nothing like this young successful mother on the air. We thought that it might be a very good stepping stone." 

-Diahann Carroll, the pioneering actress, on her 1968 show Julia. Carroll died at 84 last week. 

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